The ancient Kingdom of Dalriada where the first Scots of Ireland settled was home to Columba and the ancestors of the MacCallums. Despite all this we should not see the two as relations in blood but interpret the name MacCallum as ‘follower of Columba’.
Between Columba’s time and the earliest historical reference to the MacCallums is almost a thousand years and the lands of Lorn, Argyllshire are generally regarded as MacCallum country. By 1414 Argyll was the estate of the Campbells and Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow granted lands in Craignish and on the banks of Loch Avich to Reginald MacCallum of Corbatton.
From the family in Poltalloch was Zachary MacCallum who was famous for his great strength. He was a supporter of the Marquess of Argyll and he was killed in 1647 by Sir Alexander MacDonald at Ederline. After killing seven of the enemy he turned to Sir Alexander, who would have been his eighth that day if MacCallum was not taken from behind by an enemy who killed him with a scythe.
A traditional story about the MacCallums is that, perhaps in the thirteenth century, the chief family at Colgin had three sons, all wishing to make their own lives away from home. Their father prepared them their horses and told them they should ride in their different directions and build their homes wherever their horses’ panniers should first fall off. When the panniers of the first son fell off before he’d left his father’s farm he chose to remain at home. The panniers of the second fell at Glenetive and the third used the advice to find himself setting up his residence at Kilmartin.
In 1779 the name MacCallum changed to Malcolm, a decision of Dugald MacCallum of Poltalloch. The Malcolms are a Clan with which the MacCallums have had many ancestral connections.